Gift certificates that require another expenditure
Credit: Getty Images

Gifting experts will tell you that people appreciate memory-creating experiences as much as, or even more than, objects. That's true, unless your gift covers only part of an experience. Whatever generous amount you fork over for an evening at a pricey steakhouse may not end up being enough to cover the entire meal, especially if the recipient brings a significant other (which they will) and wants to indulge in appetizers or cocktails. Same goes for a massage certificate that covers the treatment but doesn't factor in the tip. To fully enjoy your gift, the recipient must pay out of pocket and so, in effect, it's like giving someone an 80 percent off coupon instead of a full present.